The Kingfishers


Line-up #1
Derek Quinn bass
Ernie Molloy lead guitar 
Roy Crewdson rhythm guitar, lead vocals  
Bernie Dwyer on drums

Line-up #2
Freddie Garrity lead vocals 
Derek Quinn bass
Ernie Molloy lead guitar 
Roy Crewdson rhythm guitar, lead vocals  
Bernie Dwyer on drums 

Line-up #3
Freddie Garrity lead vocals 
Derek Quinn lead guitar, harmonica  
Roy Crewdson rhythm guitar, lead vocals  
Bernie Dwyer on drums
Pete Birrell bass, lead vocals 



The Kingfishers formed in 1959 with a line-up of Freddie Garrity on lead vocals, Derek Quinn on bass (b. Sunday, May 24, 1942, Didsbury?, Manchester 20, Lancashire, UK), Roy Crewdson on rhythm guitar, lead vocals (b. Thursday, May 29, 1941, Manchester, Lancashire, UK), Ernie Molloy on lead guitar (b. Ernest Molloy, Manchester, Lancashire, UK) and Bernie Dwyer on drums (b. Bernard Dwyer, Wednesday, September 11, 1940, Manchester, Lancashire, UK d. Wednesday, December 4, 2002, Cheadle, Cheshire, UK). Shortly after Garrity joined, Molloy left to be a milkman, Quinn became the lead guitarist, harmonica player and the band was joined by bassist, lead vocalist Pete Birrell (b. Peter Birrell, Friday, May 9, 1941, Manchester, Lancashire, UK). 

Freddie Garrity the founder and lead vocalist of Freddie and the Dreamers, was the eldest son of Freddie Garrity Snr and Elsie Cynes and had a younger brother Derek Garrity. Freddie Garrity had been to Yew Tree Secondary School in Manchester and while at school played football. He had triels at Burnley Football Club and trained at Manchester City and Manchester United. After he left school at 15 in 1951, he worked as an engineer, shoe salesman, a brush salesman and then a milkman. 

He started in in the music business at 19 years-old in 1956, when he went into a talent contest at The Sale Locarno in Sale, Lancashire. He won the contest singing an Al Jolson song ''April Showers.'' The prize for winning was an electric razor.

Another founder member of Freddie and the Dreamers, lead guitarist, harmonica player Derek Quinn had started out in Johnny Peters and the Jets with Johnny Peters (born Barry James) on lead vocals, Pete Bocking on lead guitar (b. Peter Bocking, Saturday, October 31, 1942, Withington, Manchester 20, Lancashire, UK d. Saturday, October 31, 2009, Milnrow, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, UK), Derek Quinn on rhythm guitar, Joe Abrams on drums (b. Joseph Abrams, c. 1942, Manchester, Lancashire, UK). 

In July 1958 John "Butch" Mepham had been brought an acoustic guitar by his mum for his 17th birthday and then joined his first band The Sidekicks Skiffle Group for about five months. When they broke up, he formed his own band The Meteors with Mepham on vocals, acoustic guitar, George Owen on guitar, Tom Mangen on tea-chest bass (b. Thomas Megan) and Brian Lowe on snare drums. This group split in Late 1959 according to Mepham, as the bands parents kept on telling them to be home early. 

While playing in his own group Mepham had met Quinn who was also playing in a skiffle group. One evening Mepham had bumped into him on their way home from work and asked him if he was interested in forming a rock 'n' roll group (as there was not any rock bands in Manchester at the time). 

So became of this meeting Mepham, Quinn, Pete Bocking and Joe Abrams formed The Jets, who were fronted by a young man with a wonderful voice, personality and great stage presence called Johnny Peters (Barry James), a sort of cross between Elvis Presley and our very own Cliff Richard. To start off with, Peters and Quinn were both on lead guitar, but as Quinn was the better player he eventually took over on lead. Mepham became the bass player, using his Hofner President guitar, as you could not get a bass at that time. 

Johnny Peters and the Jets were a very popular band and where ever they played, Peters got all the girls screaming. The band was very successful and played at dance halls and clubs around Manchester, plus they even did a few gigs down in London. The band carried on for a number of years with different front men, the last being Wayne Fontana (b. Glynn Geoffrey Ellis, Sunday, October 28, 1945, Manchester, Lancashire, UK), future leader of Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders. 

Johnny Peters and the Jets split in Late 1959 and Bocking, Mepham and Abrams joined forces with The Two Teens, duo, Ricky Young (Allan Clarke) and Dane Young (Graham Nash) to front a new group The Fourtones. So The Fourtones  were formed in Early 1960 in Manchester, Lancashire with Ricky Young (Allan Clarke) on lead vocals (b. Harold Allan Clarke, Sunday, April 5, 1942, Salford, Lancashire, UK), Dane Young (Graham Nash) on rhythm guitar (b. Graham William Nash, Monday, February 2, 1942, The Maternity Ward, The Kimberly Hotel, Blackpool, Lancashire, UK), Pete Bocking on lead guitar (Fender Stratocaster), John Mepham o bass and Joe Abrams on drums. 

Later in 1959 Freddie Garrity was in The John Norman Four, having joined this band as his fiancée (Valerie Owens?) had prevailed on him to leave The Red Sox and join this less demanding band. Then within weeks he joined The Kingfishers and sold his amplifier and guitar to Kingfisher's member Roy Crewsdon at his fiancée's request. The bands line-up had Freddie Garrity on lead vocals, Derek Quinn on bass, Ernie Molloy on lead guitar (b. Ernest Molloy, Manchester, Lancashire, UK), Roy Crewdson on rhythm guitar, lead vocals  and Bernie Dwyer on drums. Shortly after Garrity joined Molloy left to be a milkman, Quinn became the lead guitarist, harmonica player and the band was joined by bassist, lead vocalist Pete Birrell. 

In Late 1959 The Kingfishers changed their name to The Dreamers Rhythm Group. 

John H. Warburg 
1/7/15

Some info came from ''Call Up The Groups The Golden Age Of British Beat 1962-67'' (Blanford Press, 1985) by Alan Clayson. 

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Comments (1)

Topic: De Boys
John H. Warburg says...
info provided on Roy Harper's De Boys
4th July 2015 11:45am




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